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Frequently Asked Questions - Chart Recorders
  • What is the best way to record pressure readings at various sites in my system?
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    • Until recently the only way to record pressure at remote sites, such as various hydrants, around your water system was to use a battery-operated chart recorder. These chart recorders usually come in either 4" or 8" chart sizes and the pen arm is operated directly by a pressure-sensing element in the unit. The advantage of a chart recorder is that you get and instant record of what has been happening in your system in the form of a circular chart. A disadvantage of chart recorders is that you are limited to a maximum of seven days on a chart, and 24 hours is realistically all a 4" chart can manage with any resolution. Also, a chart recorder is at high risk of being stolen when left unattended on a hydrant or other remote site.
      The pressure datalogger is a recently introduced solution to the problems inherent with pressure chart recorders. The datalogger is a small (less than 2" diameter) compact device with a standard 1/4" NPT gauge connection that electronically records pressure at user-defined intervals. It is possible to record more than thirty days of pressure readings with excellent resolution using a datalogger. The datalogger is easily set up and the data downloaded with an easy to use Windows-based software program. The data can be viewed and printed in various formats with the logger software or it can be transferred to a spreadsheet program.
      Another great advantage of the pressure logger is that it is small and much less noticeable than a chart recorder. It connects directly to the pressure source without a hose and can be easily disguised to look like a hydrant cap or something that won't catch the interest of potential vandals or theives. The pressure logger is also water proof and much less subject to damage from the elements than a chart recorder. Given the fact that the pressure logger costs about the same as a 4" chart recorder (plus the one-time software & cable), it is hands-down the best way to record your system pressure.
  • I have a chart recorder that uses a 24-hour, 0-200 gpm chart. I’m almost out of charts and it’s going to take 3 weeks to get new ones. I’ve noticed that another manufacturer offers a 24-hr, 0-200 gpm chart. Can I use the other manufacturer’s chart in my recorder?
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    • No. While the range and period of two charts from different manufactures may be the same, the physical dimensions of the charts such as outer diameter, center hole diameter, and the markings themselves are likely to be MUCH different. This means that a chart from a different manufacturer won’t physically fit into your recorder OR you’ll get inaccurate recordings. What we usually suggest in this situation is that you purchase 24-hour, 0-100 charts by the original manufacturer. Charts with the 0-100 range are the most commonly purchased and are nearly always in stock. In addition, they provide lots of flexibility because the values on the 0-100 chart can viewed as percentages of the values on the original chart. For instance, in the case described above, the correlation would be as follows: 100 = 200 gpm, 90 = 180 gpm, 80 = 160 gpm, 50 = 100 gpm, etc.
  • What advantages does the Dickson pressure data logger have over traditional pressure recorders?
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    • The Dickson data logger’s compact, discreet housing is more easily disguised and secured against theft or vandalism than a traditional pressure recorder. It also allows you to gather more information in a more usable format with a flexible time period.
  • How do I set up the Dickson pressure data logger and collect the logged data?
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    • The DicksonWare software package includes a serial cable or USB (depending on what model you choose) that plugs into the logger and provides an easy to use interface between your PC and the logger. As a bonus, this same software package also works on most of the Dickson data logger products.
  • Will any Chart Paper Manufacturer work with my Chart Recorder as long as it is the same range?
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    • No! Charts with identical ranges and sizes are, in most cases, NOT interchangeable due to differences in diameter of the center hole and the placement of the lines. Contact our Technical Support for help. We are able to find virtually any chart you may need!
  • Will any Chart Pen work with any Chart Recorder Manufacturer?
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    • Like chart paper, chart pens are generally specific to a certain model of chart recorder. Universal Pens are the exception in that they are specifically designed to work with many different types of chart recorders. Because some universal pens work better with some recorders than others, our flexible 100% satisfaction guarantee allows you to try them out at no risk. If universal pens do not work, we carry a wide selection of original manufacturer pens. Some common manufacturers that use universal pens include BIF, Bristol, Fischer & Porter, Foxboro, Honeywell, Taylor and Wallace and Tiernan.
  • When should I re-order chart paper to ensure I do not run out of charts?
    View answer
    • We carry a wide variety of the most popular chart manufactures and ranges available for your convenience. The chart paper listed in our catalog is available to ship same day if your order is placed before 5pm Central.
      If you require a chart that is not in our catalog, please contact our Technical Support and we will be able to handle all your custom chart needs. The golden rule in the industry is to mark your last box of charts with the phrase “It is time to re-order more charts” to give you ample time for your special order charts to be delivered.
  • Can I customize a Chart Recorder to fit my needs with USABluebook?
    View answer
    • Yes! If you do not see the exact configuration or options you seek with our stocked chart recorders, we invite you to contact our Technical Support team, for we will be able to customize the right recorder for your needs! Purchasing the best recorder for your application can be challenging. As always were here to help you make the right decision. Before calling us, please consider these options:
      What process will the Recorder monitor? Flow, Residual Chlorine, Pressure, etc.?
      Will your recorder need to take multiple inputs?
      Do you need data storage capabilities?
      Does your recorder need to communicate with your PC?
      Do you need to control as well as record?
      What environment will the recorder operate in?
  • Why should I choose a Videographic Recorder over a Chart Recorder?
    View answer
    • Videographic recorders the latest innovation in recording technology. Instead of recording data on chart paper, information is stored on a memory stick, data card or other device for later downloading to your computer. Data can be brought into a spreadsheet or other program for further analysis. This technology allows you to conveniently store vast amounts of information. They are also great for recording many different parameters with one recorder!
  • My Chart Recorder is not working! What should I do?
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    • There are many factors that may be the cause of your chart recorder not to function properly. Take a look these basic troubleshooting ideas that may help you solve the mystery. As always, we highly recommend that you always refer to your product manual for detailed steps for your specific recorder. If you still can‘t solve the problem, please contact our Technical Support for assistance!
      Check the supply voltage (Check your installation requirements section in your manual)
      Check your ink cartridge or pen for proper alignment or if it’s time for replacement
      Check that the chart agrees with the actuation type and chart set-up configurations
      Check the input sensor for the proper type and ability to function
      Check your settings (Refer to the programming section in your manual)